The Most Effective Natural Ways To Rid Your Lawn Of Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs thrive on lawns all over the U.S., sucking the life out of the stems and leaves of your grass. If left untreated, they can destroy your lawn in a matter of months. They are especially active in hot, dry weather, and using chemicals to treat them also destroys natural chinch bug predators and upsets your lawn's ecosystem. Natural methods usually take care of the problem safely and quickly.

How to Diagnose Chinch Bugs

The first sign of chinch bugs is irregular brown spots in your lawn. The simplest way to diagnose them is to cut the top and bottom out of a can, place it on the edge of a brown spot a little over the line onto the undamaged grass, and push it in about 3 inches. Fill it with water and leave it for approximately five minutes, then check for insects floating on top. The nymphs are red with white bands on their backs, while the adults are black with wings.

Vacuum Them Up

It may sound a little odd, and it will surely be a sight to see for the neighbors, but it is very effective. Use a heavy-duty shop vacuum over the damaged area and for two feet outward on all sides. The vacuum picks up the eggs, adults and nymphs. Do this every time you see a damaged spot and soon you will be completely rid of chinch bugs.

Feed the Birds

Scattering bird seed on your lawn will attract birds, which will then eat the seed and the chinch bugs. Don't worry about the bird seed coming up, because the plants are annuals and won't survive regular mowing.

Water, Water, Water

Chinch bugs hate water, and are sometimes a sign that your irrigation system isn't working properly in certain areas. They do not like wet areas, so simply over-watering your lawn for awhile will send them scurrying away.

Use Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic parasitic worms that infest and kill pest larvae. They need to be applied differently for surface-dwelling chinch bugs than they do for grubs, so ask your trusted lawn care professional about scheduling an application.

Chinch bugs should be treated as soon as they are diagnosed to avoid further lawn damage. If you use every method listed above and still have a persistent problem, talk to your lawn care professional about other options. If all else fails, you may want to look into replacing your lawn with a ground cover that chinch bugs don't eat. Contact a company like Show-Me Mowing for more information.